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COLLECTION Identifier: SC 24

Papers of Corita, 1965-1991, undated

Overview

Exhibition invitations and photographs of artworks on display by Corita, as well as photographs from a class she taught, and from classes taught by other artists, at Immaculate Heart College in the mid-to-late 1960s. There are also Polaroid prints of Corita, correspondence, and clippings.

Dates

  • 1965-1991, n.d.

Conditions on Access:

Unrestricted

Conditions on Use:

Copyright: The donor has transferred any copyright held in these papers to the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright in some papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the Harvard Art Museums Archives before publishing quotations from any material in the collection.

Copying: Papers may be copied in accordance with the Harvard Art Museums Archives' usual procedures.

Extent

2 linear feet (1 half file box, oversize materials)
The collection contains oversize exhibition invitations for shows featuring Corita's work, as well as photographs of Corita and of classes she taught at Immaculate Heart College taken by Charles Mikulka, the husband of one of her students, Elinor Mikulka, née Palmer Allen. There is also correspondence from Corita to the Mikulkas, and between Elinor and Gonzaga University doctoral student Barbara Loste regarding her dissertation, Life Stories of Artist Corita Kent (1918–1986): Her Spirit, Her Art, the Woman Within. The collection additionally includes a folder of biographical notes on Corita by Elinor Mikulka. The materials are arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Biography:

Serigraphic artist Corita Kent was born on November 20, 1918, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, as Frances Elizabeth Kent. In 1936, she joined the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles, taking the name Sister Mary Corita. After graduating from the University of Southern California, where she studied art with Charles and Ray Eames, Corita began teaching art at the Immaculate Heart College (IHC), a Catholic liberal arts women's college in Hollywood, California, run by the Immaculate Heart Sisters of Los Angeles. She left the order in 1968 and moved to Boston to pursue a full-time career as an artist. She received commissions from Boston Gas to design a mural for their 150-foot gas tank, from the Physicians for Social Responsibility to design various peace billboards, and from the United States Postal Service to design the 22-cent "Love" stamp. Corita died on September 18, 1986, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Steven Mikulka in January 2012. An additional folder of correspondence was donated in August 2014.

Related Materials

There are additional papers of Corita Kent at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

General note

Names
  1. Corita, 1918-1986
  2. Immaculate Heart College -- California -- Los Angeles
  3. Immaculate Heart College -- California -- Los Angeles -- Dept. of Fine Arts
Subjects
  1. Art, American – Exhibitions -- 20th century
  2. Art -- Study and teaching -- 20th Century
  3. Catholic women -- United States
  4. Ex-nuns -- United States
  5. Serigraphy -- 20th Century
  6. Serigraphy – Exhibitions -- 20th Century
  7. Women artists -- Massachusetts -– Boston
Form/Genre Terms
  1. Correspondence
  2. Invitations
  3. Photographs

Processing Information

Processing Information: The collection was processed in October 2013 and the folder of addenda processed in August 2014 by Brooke McManus.
Link to catalog
Title
Papers of Corita (SC 24), 1965-1991, undated: A Guide
Author
Harvard Art Museums Archives
EAD ID
art00035

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Art Museums Archives Repository

The Harvard Art Museums Archives is the official repository for institutional records and historical documents in all formats relating to the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, 1895 to the present. Its collections include significant papers of individuals and groups associated with the museums' history, as well as correspondence with collectors, gallery owners, museum professionals, and notables throughout the twentieth century. Its holdings also document the formation of the museums' collections and its mission as a teaching institution.

Contact:
32 Quincy Street
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
617-495-2384